Former world No. 3 Grigor Dimitrov revealed he was hampered by a back issue during his Australian Open quarterfinal clash but he didn't want to quit and retire. Dimitrov, seeded at No. 18, was beaten in four sets by Aslan Karatsev as the qualifier world No.
114 won 2-6 6-4 6-1 6-2 to progress into his maiden Australian Open semifinal. ''There's no point in hiding anything. It started yesterday on a regular movement. Then it happened early in the match, it kept progressing and was unstoppable.
It was his day. Now let's move on. That's sport,'' Dimitrov said, per Tennis Majors. "I couldn't put my socks before the match. So I knew it would be tough. I gave it a try because of Grand Slam, adrenaline, I was in a very good shape before...
Rarely been so well in a Slam. "Once again, it's sport. Respect to the guy (Karatsev), always struggling, doing what he was to do."
Dimitrov gave credit to Karatsev
Karatsev won three qualifying matches in Doha to earn a place in the Australian Open main draw, before he continued his strong run and won five matches at Melbourne Park.
Dimitrov, a 2017 Australian Open semifinalist, wasn't able to play his best but he didn't want to take nothing away from Karatsev. "Having a back's problem... All is directed to this part of the body. Serve, backhand, forehand.
A kind of electricty comes on each movement, reaction... But please give him credit for the victory. (Karatsev),'' Dimitrov said. Karatsev plays next against either Novak Djokovic or Alexander Zverev. "Why wouldn't he go further?" Dimitrov asked.
Dimitrov will be leaving Melbourne disappointed he wasn't able to play his best tennis against Karatsev. "I don't like quitting. I was hard on myself and my team, but you're a competitor. When you're on the court sometimes you don't think straight. At the end of the 3rd I just couldn't give up. It's just who I am,'' Dimitrov noted.